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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Junior Katie O’Donnell (West Chester, Pa.) and sophomore Madison Carter (Davidsonville, Md.) each scored four goals to lead No. 8 Penn State past Rutgers, 18-7, in their Big Ten Conference opener this afternoon from the Penn State Lacrosse Field.
The Nittany Lions improve to 8-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play while the Scarlet Knights fall to 5-4 on the year and 0-1 in Big Ten action.
Rutgers opened the scoring just over five minutes into the contest; however, it was short-lived as PSU scored the next three goals as sophomore Kayla Brisolari (Crofton, Md.), Carter and freshman Kristin Roberto (Miller Place, N.Y.) each found the back of the net for the 3-1 score at the 18:43 mark.
The Scarlet Knights tied the score at the 11:33 mark with back-to-back goals from Abbey Brooks and Paige Paratore, but again Penn State erupted going on an 8-1 scoring run over the next seven minutes to grab the 11-4 advantage with 4:42 left to play in the first half.
O’Donnell scored three times during that span while Carter and senior Steph Lazo (Stevensville, Md.) each added a pair. Junior Maggie Gallagher (Bel Air, Md.) then sandwiched a goal between a pair of Rutgers scores to head into the intermission with the 12-6 lead.
The Nittany Lions then opened the second half with six straight tallies as O’Donnell, Lazo and Carter each added another and seniors Taylor Bleistein (Bayville, N.Y.) also got in on the scoring action to balloon the lead to 16-6 and hit running time at the 19:06 mark.
Senior Shelby Wells (Timonium, Md.) the potted back-to-back tallies to increase the lead to 18-6 at the 4:51 mark before Amanda Turturro halted the Penn State run with a goal at the 2:53 mark for the 18-7 final.
Senior Cat Rainone collected nine saves to improve to 7-1 on the year while Bianca Dente falls to 5-4 after making five saves before being replaced by Devon Kearns.
Penn State held the 37-24 edge in shots including a 26-16 margin on target while also controlling the draw control battle (16-11) and the ground balls (24-16).
Lazo added six assists for a game-high nine points while senior Erika Spilker (Severna Park, Md.) turned in a solid defensive effort collecting three ground balls and three draw controls.
Penn State returns to action on Tuesday afternoon as they travel to No. 6 Princeton for a 2 p.m. affair.